Natural Gas Dehydrator Optimization

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1 Natural Gas Dehydrator Optimization IAPG & US EPA Technology Transfer Workshop November 5, 2008 Buenos Aires, Argentina

2 Natural Gas Dehydration: Agenda Methane Losses Methane Recovery Is Recovery Profitable? Industry Experience Discussion 2

3 Methane Losses from Dehydrators Dehydrators and pumps account for: 15% of methane emissions in the U.S. production, gathering, and boosting sectors (excl. offshore operations) EPA. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks April, Available on the web at: Natural Gas STAR reductions data shown as published in the inventory. 3

4 What is the Problem? Produced gas is saturated with water, which must be removed for gas transmission Glycol dehydrators are the most common equipment to remove water from gas estimated dehydration units in NG production, gathering, and boosting in Argentina Most use Triethylene Glycol (TEG) Glycol dehydrators generate emissions Methane, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) from reboiler vent Methane from pneumatic controllers Source: 4

5 Basic Glycol Dehydrator System Process Diagram Glycol Contactor Dry Sales Gas Inlet Wet Gas Water/Methane/VOCs/HAPs To Atmosphere Driver Motive Gas Bypass Lean TEG Glycol Energy Exchange Pump Pump Rich TEG Glycol Reboiler/ Regenerator Fuel Gas 5

6 Methane Recovery Options Optimize glycol circulation rates Flash tank separator (FTS) installation Electric pump installation Zero emission dehydrator Replace glycol unit with desiccant dehydrator Other opportunities 6

7 Optimizing Glycol Circulation Rate Gas pressure and flow at wellhead dehydrators generally declines over time Glycol circulation rates are often set at a maximum circulation rate Glycol over-circulation results in more methane emissions without significant reduction in gas moisture content Partners found circulation rates two to three times higher than necessary Methane emissions are directly proportional to circulation Lessons Learned study: optimize circulation rates 7

8 Installing Flash Tank Separator (FTS) Methane that flashes from rich glycol in an energy-exchange pump plus bypass gas can be captured using an FTS Many units are not using an FTS Source: API survey 8

9 FTS Methane Recovery Recovers about 90% of methane emissions Reduces VOCs by 10 to 90% Must have an outlet for low pressure gas Fuel Compressor suction Vapor recovery unit Flash Tank Gas Recovery Reduced Emissions Low Capital Cost/Quick Payback 9

10 Flash Tank Costs U.S. EPA Lessons Learned study provides guidelines for scoping costs, savings and economics Capital and installation costs: Capital costs range from US$3.500 to US$7.000 per flash tank Installation costs range from US$1.200 to US$2.500 per flash tank Negligible Operational & Maintenance (O&M) costs 10

11 Electric Pump Eliminates Motive Gas Glycol Contactor Dry Sales Gas Inlet Wet Gas Motive bypass Gas Driver Water/Methane/VOCs/HAPs To Atmosphere Lean TEG Electric Motor Driven Pump Pump Rich TEG Glycol Reboiler/ Regenerator Fuel Gas 11

12 Is Recovery Profitable? Three options for minimizing glycol dehydrator emissions Option Optimize Circulation Rate Install Flash Tank Capital Costs (US$) Annual O&M Costs (US$) Emissions Savings (Mm 3 /year) Payback Period 1 Negligible Negligible 11 to Immediate to Negligible 20 to 301 0,9 to 4,6 years Install Electric Pump to to to < 1 year to several years 1 Gas price of US$70,63/Mm 3 12

13 Overall Benefits Financial return on investment through gas savings Increased operational efficiency Reduced O&M costs (fuel gas, glycol makeup) Reduced hazardous air pollutants (BTEX) Electric pump similar footprint as gas assist pump 13

14 Zero Emission Dehydrator Combines many emission saving technologies into one unit Vapors in the still gas coming off of the glycol reboiler are condensed in a heat exchanger Non-condensable skimmer gas is routed back to the reboiler for fuel use Electric driven glycol circulation pumps used instead of energy-exchange pumps Electric control valves replace gas pneumatics 14

15 Overall Benefits: Zero Emissions Dehydrator Reboiler vent condenser removes heavier hydrocarbons and water from non-condensables (mainly methane) The condensed liquid can be further separated into water and valuable gas liquid hydrocarbons Non-condensables (mostly methane) can be recovered as fuel or product By collecting the reboiler vent gas, methane (and VOC/HAP) emissions are greatly reduced Gas pneumatic control valve vents eliminated 15

16 Replace Glycol Unit with Desiccant Dehydrator Desiccant Dehydrator Wet gasses pass through drying bed of desiccant tablets Tablets absorb moisture from gas and dissolve Moisture removal depends on: Type of desiccant (salt) Gas temperature and pressure Source: Van Air Hygroscopic Salts Typical T and P for Pipeline Spec Cost Calcium chloride <8 o 30 atm Least expensive Lithium chloride <16 o 17 atm More expensive 16

17 Desiccant Performance Desiccant performance at maximum pipeline moisture spec (112 grams water / Mm 3 ) Max Spec Line for CaCl 2 Max Spec Line for LiCl 2 17

18 Desiccant Dehydrator Scheme Maximum Desiccant Level Minimum Desiccant Level Inlet Wet Gas Drying Bed Brine Filler Hatch Dry Sales Gas Sight glass level indicator Desiccant Tablets Support Grid Drain Valve 18

19 Desiccant Dehydrator Savings: Gas Vented from Glycol Dehydrator Example: GV =? F = 28,32 Mm 3 /day W = gr H 2 O/Mm 3 R = 0,025 L/gr OC = 150% G = 0,022 m 3 /L Where: GV= Gas vented annually (Mm 3 /year) F = Gas flow rate (Mm 3 /day) W = Inlet-outlet H 2 O content (gr/mm 3 ) R = Glycol/water ratio (rule of thumb) OC = Percent over-circulation G = Methane entrainment (rule of thumb) Calculate: GV = (F * W * R * OC * G * 365days/year) m 3 /Mm 3 GV = 1,95 Mm 3 /year Glycol Dehydrator Unit Source: GasTech 19

20 Desiccant Dehydrator Savings: Gas Vented from Pneumatic Controllers Example: GE =? PD = 4 EF = 3,57 Mm 3 /device/year Where: GE = Annual gas emissions (Mm 3 /year) PD = Number of pneumatic devices per dehydrator EF = Emission factor (Mm 3 natural gas leakage/ pneumatic devices per year) Calculate: GE = EF * PD GE = 14,27 Mm 3 /year Norriseal Pneumatic Liquid Level Controller Source: norriseal.com 20

21 Desiccant Dehydrator Savings: Fuel Gas for Glycol Dehydrator Gas fuel for glycol reboiler 28 Mm 3 /day dehydrator Removing 224 gr water/mm 3 Reboiler heat rate: 313 kj/l TEG Heat content of natural gas: kj/m 3 Gas fuel for gas heater 28 Mm 3 dehydrator Heat gas from 8ºC to 16ºC Specific heat of natural gas: 1,843 kj/kg-ºc Density of natural gas: 0,806 kg/m 3 Efficiency: 70% Fuel requirement: Fuel requirement: 0,48 Mm 3 /year 13,67 Mm 3 /year 21

22 Desiccant Dehydrator Savings: Gas Lost from Desiccant Dehydrator Example: GLD =? ID = 20 inch (0,508 m) H = inch (1,949 m) %G = 45% P 1 = 1 atm P 2 = 31 atm T = 7 days Where: GLD = Desiccant dehydrator gas loss (Mm 3 /year) ID = Inside Diameter (m) H = Vessel height by vendor specification (m) %G = Percentage of gas volume in the vessel P 1 = Atmospheric pressure (atm) P 2 = Gas pressure (atm) T = Time between refilling (days) Calculate: GLD = H * ID 2 *π * P 2 * %G * 365 days/year 4 * P 1 * T * m 3 /Mm 3 GLD = 0,28 Mm 3 /year Desiccant Dehydrator Unit Source: usedcompressors.com 22

23 Desiccant Dehydrator Savings: Gas vented from glycol dehydrator: Gas vented from pneumatic controls: Gas burned in glycol reboiler: Gas burned in gas heater: Minus desiccant dehydrator vent: 1,95 Mm 3 /year + 14,27 Mm 3 /year + 0,48 Mm 3 /year + 13,67 Mm 3 /year - 0,28 Mm 3 /year Total savings: 30,09 Mm 3 /year Value of gas savings 1 : US$2.126/year 1 Gas valued at US$70,63/Mm 3 23

24 Desiccant Dehydrator and Glycol Dehydrator Cost Comparison Type of Costs and Savings Desiccant (US$/yr) Glycol (US$/yr) Implementation Costs Capital Costs Desiccant (includes the initial fill) Glycol Other costs (installation and engineering) Total Implementation Costs: Annual Operating and Maintenance Costs Desiccant Cost of desiccant refill US($1,50/pound) Cost of brine disposal 14 Labor cost Glycol Cost of glycol refill (US$4,50/gallon) 206 Material and labor cost Total Annual Operation and Maintenance Costs: Based on 28 Mm 3 per day natural gas operating at 30 atm and 8 C Installation costs assumed at 75% of the equipment cost 24

25 Desiccant Dehydrator Economics Payback= 8,9 years Type of Costs and Savings Capital costs (US$) Avoided O&M Without potential carbon market benefits Year 0 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year costs (US$) O&M costs Desiccant (US$) Value of gas 1 Saved (US$) Glycol dehy. 2 salvage value (US$) Total (US$) Gas price = US$70,63/Mm 3 2 Salvage value estimated as 50% of glycol dehydrator capital cost 25

26 Industry Experiences One Partner installed flash tank separators on its glycol dehydrators Recovers 98% of methane from glycol degassing 34 to 47 Mm 3 /year reductions per dehydrator US$2.370 to US$3.318/year 1 savings per dehydrator Another Partner routes gas from flash tank separator to fuel gas system 248 Mm 3 /year reductions per dehydrator US$17.520/year 1 savings per dehydrator 1 Gas valued at $70,63/Mm 3 26

27 Lessons Learned Optimizing glycol circulation rates increase gas savings, reduce emissions Negligible cost and effort FTS reduces methane emissions by about 90 percent Require a low pressure gas outlet Electric pumps reduce O&M costs, reduce emissions, increase efficiency Require electrical power source Zero emission dehydrator can virtually eliminate emissions Requires electrical power source Desiccant dehydrator reduce O&M costs and reduce emissions compared to glycol Miscellaneous other PROs can have big savings 27

28 Miscellaneous Other PROs Available in Spanish language at epa.gov/gasstar/tools/spanish/index.html 28

29 Discussion Industry experience applying these technologies and practices Limitations on application of these technologies an practices Actual costs and benefits 29

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